Legislation to raise Maryland’s minimum wage to $15 an hour will probably reach Gov. Larry Hogan’s desk in coming days after a legislative committee hammered out an agreement over differences between the House and Senate versions of the bills.
Earlier versions of the legislation passed by a veto-proof margin, meaning if Hogan (R) rejects the bill, the Democrats who control both chambers of the General Assembly probably could override his veto.
Del. Dereck E. Davis (D-Prince George’s), chairman of the House Economic Matters Committee, said Tuesday that the main sticking point between the House and Senate versions was whether to give small companies more time to phase in the higher minimum wage.
The Senate bill gave companies with fewer than 15 employees until January 2028 to increase pay to $15 an hour. The House bill called for all companies, regardless of size, to pay that wage by January 2025.
Under the compromise reached Tuesday, companies with fewer than 15 employees will have until July 2026 to pay the new wage.
The House and Senate each have to agree to the compromise. The bills would then head to Hogan’s desk.
Under a provision in the state constitution, bills submitted to the governor at least six days before the end of a legislative session become law after six days, unless the governor issues a veto. If there is a veto, the General Assembly can vote on whether to override before adjourning for the year.
Hogan has not said whether he would veto the legislation, but he has made clear that he opposes a statewide $15 minimum. He proposed a smaller wage increase in a letter to legislative leaders earlier this month, and on Monday said a $15 minimum was “reckless” and would “devastate” the economy.